Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Cash from city is meant to help community

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Aug. 14, 2013 at 3:14 a.m.

The influx in visitors and Eagle Ford Shale traffic is doing more for Victoria than just benefiting the economy through hotels and shopping. Thanks to the money collected through the Hotel Occupancy Tax, or HOT, that increased traffic will also benefit Victoria's tourism industry.

The Victoria city council approved the distribution of more than half a million dollars in HOT funds to community organizations. According to state law, these funds must be used to used to promote arts, tourism and conventions in Victoria.

We are impressed to see the hotel tax brings in so much revenue, and we are especially pleased to see so many groups applying to receive some of the funds. The organizations ranged from the Victoria Performing Arts Center Inc., which received $82,680 for the annual Victoria TX Independent Film Festival, down to the Straight Arrow Archery Learning Center, which received $2,500 for the Texas Indoor Junior Championships. Each of the 15 groups that received funding will use it to cover everything from performances, new equipment, museum exhibits, festivals, parades and other events that will attract visitors to our hometown.

We congratulate all the groups that received HOT funds from the city of Victoria, and we encourage them to use these funds wisely. This money is not just a gift from the city to help pay bills. By applying for and accepting it, these groups are making a commitment to Victoria to offer the best quality they can in order to bring more visitors to our community where they will shop in our stores, explore our local attractions, eat in our restaurants and rent rooms in our hotels.

We also wish to thank the members of the hotel occupancy tax committee, who took the time to examine each of the applications that came in and determine which groups should receive funding. Your service is appreciated, and we hope the decisions you made will result in great events, exhibits and more for Victorians and visitors alike to enjoy.

The city's HOT funds are an important part of growing our hometown's tourism economy. We encourage everyone involved in the process to do their best to bring in more tourism and provide the best for our community.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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